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IP Watch: Recent Patents Related to PCR, Nucleic Acid Amplification, and Sample Prep: Feb 17, 2011

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Quest Diagnostics has been awarded US Patent No. 7,888,075, "Detection of methicillin-resistant and methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus in biological samples

Larry McCarthy, Lilly Kong, Michelle Tabb, and Ming-Chou Lee are named as inventors on the patent.

Discloses methods of identifying a methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus or methicillin-sensitive S. aureus in a sample. The invention provides a diagnostic method comprising modification of sequences of S. aureus by converting non-methylated cytosine residues ultimately into thymidine residues in the target nucleic acid. The invention further provides for the detection of modified sequences derived from the spa gene, the mecA gene, and the integrated SCCmec cassette of S. aureus.


Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University has been awarded US Patent No. 7,888,025, "Intestinal folate transporter method."

David Goldman and Andong Qiu are named as inventors on the patent.

Provides an isolated and purified DNA molecule comprising the coding region of a PCFT cDNA. The patent also provides a segment of the above DNA molecule, capable of serving as a primer for amplifying at least a portion of the DNA molecule. Additionally provided is a pair of the above segments that can be used together as forward and reverse PCR primers for amplifying at least a portion of the above DNA molecule; an isolated and purified human PCFT protein; and a method of evaluating the ability of a human to undergo intestinal folate absorption.


Riken has been awarded US Patent No. 7,888,024, "Method of detecting genetic polymorphism."

Naoya Hosono, Mitsuaki Kubo, and Yusuke Nakamura are named as inventors on the patent.

Provides a polymorphism-detecting method suitable for detecting and identifying copy number variation. More specifically, the patent provides a method of determining the genotype of a subject in a genomic region comprising a SNP site. The method uses the Invader assay, with a DNA-containing sample comprising the genomic region from the subject as the template, wherein fluorescence is measured on a real-time basis. The copy number ratio of both alleles is determined using the fluorescence intensity ratio of each allele at a time before saturation of fluorescence intensity. Preferably, the method further comprises a step for amplifying the genomic region comprising a SNP site prior to the Invader step. In this step of amplification, a plurality of regions comprising a plurality of SNP sites can be simultaneously amplified. Furthermore, the method enables the determination of the copy number of each allele when combined with quantitative PCR.


Genisphere has been awarded US Patent No. 7,888,018, "Methods and kits for nucleic acid amplification."

Robert Getts, Kelly Sensinger, and James Kadushin are named as inventors on the patent.

Provides compositions and methods for amplifying nucleic acid molecules that can be used in various research and diagnostic applications, such as gene expression studies involving nucleic acid microarrays.


Stanford University has been awarded US Patent No. 7,888,017, "Non-invasive fetal genetic screening by digital analysis."

Stephen Quake and Hei-Mun Christina Fan are named as inventors on the patent.

Covers methods exemplified by a process in which maternal blood containing fetal DNA is diluted to a nominal value of approximately 0.5 genome equivalent of DNA per reaction sample. Digital PCR is then used to detect aneuploidy, such as the trisomy that causes Down syndrome. Since aneuploidies do not present a mutational change in sequence, and are merely a change in the number of chromosomes, it has not been possible to detect them in a fetus without resorting to invasive techniques such as amniocentesis or chorionic villi sampling. Digital amplification allows the detection of aneuploidy using massively parallel amplification and detection methods, examining, for example, 10,000 genome equivalents, the patent's abstract states.


DNA Electronics has been awarded US Patent No. 7,888,015, "qPCR using solid-state sensing."

Christofer Toumazou and Sunil Purushothaman are named as inventors on the patent.

Describes the use of a pH sensor comprising an ion-sensitive field effect transistor to perform real-time detection/quantification of nucleic acid amplification (PCR nucleic acid amplification, for instance) based on the detection of protons released during the primer extension phase.


Nihon University has been awarded US Patent No. 7,888,014, "Method of detecting Haemophilus influenzae type b, primer set, and kit for use in the method."

Mitsuko Seki and Hirotaka Torigoe are named as inventors on the patent.

Provides a method of detecting Haemophilus influenzae, a primer set for detecting H. influenzae, and a kit for detecting H. influenzae. Nucleic acid amplification is carried out using the DNA of H. influenzae as a template, and also using LAMP primers for various specific sequences, to detect the presence or absence of the amplified product. When primers having sequences that are complementary to the specific sequences are used, they are excellent in terms of detection sensitivity and promptness of detection, as well as specificity, according to the patent's abstract. In addition, the method allows H. influenzae type b to be distinguished from other capsular serotype and non-encapsulated type H. influenzae, and detected rapidly, simply, and accurately, the patent's abstract states.


US Genomics has been awarded US Patent No. 7,888,011, "Methods for isolation of nucleic acids from prokaryotic spores."

Trine Nilsen and Nuno Goncalves are named as inventors on the patent.

Provides methods and related products for extracting nucleic acids such as DNA from prokaryotic spores. The invention also encompasses methods for identifying the source of such spores via analysis of the isolated nucleic acids.


Istituto Nazionale per Lo Studio E La Cura Dei Tumori has been awarded US Patent No. 7,888,008, "Method for the detection of cancer."

Describes a method for the early diagnosis, prognosis, or clinical monitoring of cancer based on the quantitation of DNA in a plasma sample from a cancer patient, a subject with cancer susceptibility, or an individual at risk of developing cancer.


Qiagen has been awarded US Patent No. 7,888,006, "Method for isolating DNA from biological samples."

Christian Lenz is the sole inventor listed on the patent.

The patent relates to an improved process for isolating DNA from biological samples, particularly from human whole blood, according to its abstract.

The Scan

Drug Response Variants May Be Distinct in Somatic, Germline Samples

Based on variants from across 21 drug response genes, researchers in The Pharmacogenomics Journal suspect that tumor-only DNA sequences may miss drug response clues found in the germline.

Breast Cancer Risk Gene Candidates Found by Multi-Ancestry Low-Frequency Variant Analysis

Researchers narrowed in on new and known risk gene candidates with variant profiles for almost 83,500 individuals with breast cancer and 59,199 unaffected controls in Genome Medicine.

Health-Related Quality of Life Gets Boost After Microbiome-Based Treatment for Recurrent C. Diff

A secondary analysis of Phase 3 clinical trial data in JAMA Network Open suggests an investigational oral microbiome-based drug may lead to enhanced quality of life measures.

Study Follows Consequences of Early Confirmatory Trials for Accelerated Approval Indications

Time to traditional approval or withdrawal was shorter when confirmatory trials started prior to accelerated approval, though overall regulatory outcomes remained similar, a JAMA study finds.